Information Publication Scheme – Information Publication Plan

Introduction

Finance is an agency subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act). The 2010 reforms to the FOI Act included the introduction of the Information Publication Scheme (IPS). This plan describes how Finance intends to comply with the IPS.

Purpose

The purpose of this plan is to:

  • identify information Finance proposes to publish for the purposes of Part II of the FOI Act
  • identify how and to whom Finance proposes to publish information for the purposes of Part II of the FOI Act
  • how Finance will otherwise comply with Part II of the FOI Act

Objectives

Finance’s objectives are to outline appropriate procedures to:

  • manage its information holdings relevant to the IPS
  • proactively identify and publish all information required to be published
  • proactively identify and publish all operational information
  • review information published under the IPS on a regular basis to ensure that is accurate, up-to-date and complete
  • ensure that information published under the IPS is discoverable, understandable and re-useable
  • ensure that the format of online content conforms with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Version 2.0 (WCAG 2.0)
  • measure the success of Finance’s contribution to the IPS by reference to feedback and review processes; and
  • any other specific agency objectives as announced from time to time.

Establishing Finance’s Contribution to the IPS

The Deputy Secretary of Finance’s Chief Operating Officer Group is responsible overall for leading the department’s work on implementing the FOI reforms, including the IPS. Corporate Services Division is responsible for administration of Freedom of Information, communications and publishing.

The FOI Unit in Legal Services Branch, Corporate Services Division identified information required or permitted to be published under the FOI Act by:

  • requesting Business Groups within Finance to review their functions and information holdings to identify material relevant to the IPS
  • identifying information to be published under the IPS section of Finance’s internet website
  • ensuring information to be published under the IPS section of the website was up to date, complete and accurate.

Timeframes for establishing the IPS at Finance are as follows:

Stage

Timeframe

New Freedom of Information & IPS internet pages made available on Finance website

1 May 2011

Publication of documents released following an FOI decision

Ongoing based on when documents are released following an FOI request (in accordance with timeframes specified in FOI Act).

Publication of information required to be published under sub-section 8(2) of the FOI Act.

Progressively from 1 May 2011 onwards.

Administering Finance’s Contribution to the IPS

From 1 May 2011, the Deputy Secretary of Finance’s Chief Operating Officer Group will continue to be responsible for managing the IPS.

The FOI Unit will maintain registers of information required to be published under the FOI Act and will assist the Portfolio Coordination and Communications Branch in Corporate Services Division to develop guidance material to explain Finance’s responsibilities for contributing to the IPS. The guidance material will:

  • help staff identify on an ongoing basis any required or optional information to be published under the IPS
  • describe processes to be followed internally to ensure the accuracy, currency and completeness of published information.

To ensure information published on the Finance website is discoverable, understandable, machine-readable, accessible, useable, up-to-date and accurate, Finance’s Web Management and Design team will:

  • engage Business Groups in formal web content reviews conducted annually to determine whether any new or updated information needs to be published to comply with the IPS
  • as far as possible, ensure published information complies with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Version 2.0 (WCAG 2.0).

Finance is also developing its Knowledge and Information and Management Strategy which will support a comprehensive and systematic approach to creating, storing and accessing information to serve current and future business needs.

Charges

In promoting a pro-disclosure culture, Finance intends to make documentation available free of charge by primarily publishing information on its website.

While Finance will endeavour to provide as much documentation as possible online, some documentation is unable to be published.  This includes material that is exempt under the FOI Act or for which an FOI request must be submitted. Enquiries about the status of a document or information should be made initially to:

FOI Coordinator
Legal Services Branch
Department of Finance
John Gorton Building
King Edward Terrace
PARKES   ACT   2600
Email:  foi@finance.gov.au
Phone: (02) 6215 1783
Fax:     (02) 6215 2593

Requests for multiple copies of archived documents which are no longer available online may attract a charge for the cost of photocopying, postage etc.  Finance will notify the applicant of any potential charge at the time of the request and the charge will be payable prior to release of the document. 

Information Architecture

To ensure documents are easily discoverable, understandable and machine-readable, Finance will publish its IPS information holdings on its website and:

  • create new navigation from the About the Department section of its website to the IPS page
  • place an IPS logo on the homepage
  • where possible create content in a format that is searchable
  • create IPS “featured results” in the Finance site search engine
  • provide a link for feedback on the IPS to ascertain if the content is discoverable, understandable and machine-readable.

IPS information holdings will be available online under the following headings:

Who We Are
This section will include links to Finance’s organisational chart and details of appointed statutory office holders.

What We Do
This will outline Finance’s functions and activities, matters dealt with by Finance in accordance with the Commonwealth Administrative Arrangement Orders (AAOs), legislation administered by the Finance Minister and details of Finance’s decision making powers under Acts or parts of Acts administered by Finance. It will also include links it Annual Reports and to new policies or programs resulting from Government decisions made from time to time.

Reports and Responses to Parliament
This section will include links to reports and publications laid before the Parliament.

Routinely Requested Information
This section will include links to file lists made available in accordance with Senate Continuing Order No. 10, contract lists made available in accordance with Senate Continuing Order No. 11 and links to information held by Finance and routinely provided to the Parliament in response to requests and orders from the Parliament.

Arrangements for Public Consultation
This section will describe arrangements for making representations to Finance’s portfolio Ministers about policy and other matters as well as arrangements for making comments about issues managed by Finance.

Freedom of Information (FOI)
This section will describe procedures and contact details for making FOI requests. It will also provide access a Disclosure Log with links to documents released to applicants under the FOI Act.

Operational Information
This section will provide links to information held by Finance to assist it perform or exercise its functions or powers in making decisions or recommendations affecting members of the public. Links will be reviewed and updated to include additional information that falls within the scope of operational information.

Other Information to be Published

Finance will identify information to be published in addition to the information required under the IPS. Other information to be published on the IPS section of the Finance website includes:

Chief Executive Instructions and Operational Guidelines
The key focus of these documents is to achieve compliance with the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 and to ensure the efficient, effective, ethical and economical use of Commonwealth resources.  These documents are the subject of a whole of government review of CEIs. Once the review has been completed, the new model CEIs that fall within the definition of ‘operational information’ will be published online.

Accessibility

As far as possible, information published to comply with the IPS will conform to the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C’s) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Version 2.0 (WCAG 2.0).

Some documents cannot be provided in HTML format and some will be made available to download and share in Portable Document Format (PDF). Where possible, Finance has taken steps to ensure that alternate formats are available, commonly Rich Text Format (RTF). For downloadable documents, an icon appears alongside the document link to indicate the file type and size.

Alternate Repositories

A number of Finance documents have either an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) or International Standard Book Number (ISBN).  Where these numbers apply, the document will make note of such a number accordingly.

A number of archived Finance websites (including those administered by the Department) can be accessed through the National Library of Australia’s Pandora Archive [External link icon].

Selected historical publications are also available through Finance’s archived website.

IPS Compliance Review

The review will examine Finance’s compliance with the IPS requirements along with a review of this plan at least annually, which will coincide with the annual web content review.

Various criteria will be used to measure Finance’s compliance with the IPS requirements, including:

  • Feedback from the public
  • Timeframes in which Finance publishes information online
  • Communication between Finance and members of the public in relation to accessing documents published online

In accordance with section 9 of the FOI Act, Finance intends to review the operation of its IPS at least every 5 years commencing from 1 May 2011.  Such a review will be undertaken in conjunction with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

Feedback

Finance welcomes feedback on the approach it proposes to take to complying with the Information Publication Scheme (IPS) outlined in this plan. Please email comments to feedback@finance.gov.au

Copyright

With the exception of the Commonwealth Coat of Arms, the Department of Finance and Deregulation Information Publication Plan is issued under a Creative Commons BY licence.  The terms of the BY licence can be found at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/au/.

The document must be attributed “Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Finance and Deregulation Information Publication Plan”.

The terms under which the Commonwealth Coat of Arms can be used are available at the It's an Honour website.

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Contact for information on this page: FOI Coordinator